Russell Westbrook Says It Was ‘A Blessing’ To Play With Kevin Durant And James Harden

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NBA history is, in many significant ways, a history of “what ifs.” What if Michael Jordan had never retired the first time? What if Shaq and Kobe had stayed together (or Shaq and Penny, for that matter)? What if Draymond Green didn’t get suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals?

They make for great thought experiments and/or barroom fodder for you and friends to argue about over beers. In the modern era, one of the biggest and best what ifs has to do with the former Oklahoma City Thunder trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.

Durant and Westbrook are both MVP winners, and now Harden appears destined to become one himself with his stellar play this season combined with the Rockets’ ascension to the top of the Western Conference standings. With that reality on the horizon, Westbrook was asked to reflect on their time together and their subsequently divergent careers.

“It’s a blessing to be able to play with each one of those guys, but at the same time know and understand each individual journey and what it took for them to get to the level they’re at now,” Westbrook said.

OKC’s original big three made it all the way to the Finals in 2012 before losing to LeBron James and the Heat in five games. Harden was traded to the Rockets the following summer, where he quickly established himself as one of the league’s deadliest scorers.

Durant stuck around a few more years before signing with the Warriors in free agency in the summer of 2016 and has since become an NBA champion and Finals MVP. With the combination of their extraordinary talent, it’s impossible not to wonder just how far they might’ve gone if they’d stuck together a few more years.